For the first time, eight Vatican insiders break their silence and talk about their duties in the shadow of the Pope. Their stories, combined with unique images, provide an exclusive insight into the world of the Vatican.
The story of Noah's ark and the Great Flood is one of the most iconic and universal stories in all human history; one of the most important stories for three of the world's great religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Now, an astonishing recovery is challenging everything thought known about this biblical legend. Dr Irving Finkel, armed with a 4000-year-old tablet, teams up with a group of maritime archaeologists and attempts to build the vessel that inspired the biblical ark.
Take a tour of Israel as the historic peace agreement with the Palestinians is being negotiated. See the daily lives and views of Jews, Palestinians and Christians at this time of change. Then, visit the ultra- Orthodox Jews of Jerusalem's Mea Sherim district, traditional fishermen on the Sea of Galilee and a Palestinian family who has lived in the occupied West Bank since 1967. Other highlights include Tel Aviv, the Red Sea resort of Eilat and Bethlehem's Church of the Nativity.
Ifor visits trees and mountains as a way of understanding the journey Britain undertook from the old Pagan religion to Christianity. His journey starts in Glastonbury, site of the famous tor and the Thorns, the most holy trees in the country. I
Presenter and Welsh poet Ifor ap Glyn explores the wealth of Britain's extraordinary holy places on a pilgrimage that spans almost 2,000 years of history. Ifor discovers the myths and legends of some of Britain's most sacred places. In the first episode, Ifor explores why ruins are among the best-preserved and most-loved holy sites in Britain.
She was the oldest of eight children, born in colonial Melbourne to Scottish parents. Her childhood was difficult, her father a failure at every business he attempted. In the years before children were all sent to school, moderately wealthy families employed governesses. She worked as a governess in rural South Australia. There she met a charismatic priest and discovered her true vocation.
In 1993 the National Gallery of Ireland made a stunning announcement: a lost painting by Caravaggio had been discovered in Dublin. Compass: Private Life Of An Easter Masterpiece: The Taking of Christ, tells the story of this lost treasure.
In the last remaining Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan reincarnation is a way of life, but in recent years more and more children are claiming to be reincarnates forcing the Bhutanese government to step in.
The story of Noah's Ark has always exercised a strange fascination on people and many have tried to find the remains of the legendary boat. Expeditions have been mounted by quacks, holy men and scientists. In the 1950s a French explorer, Fernand Navarra, returned from Mount Ararat with a plank he found in a crevasse in a glacier.
War correspondent Rageh Omaar, who was brought up as a Muslim, examines Abraham, one of the most revered patriarchs of both the Jewish and Christian Bible and of the Muslim Holy Qur'an. According to all three faiths, he was the first man to worship one God - and one God alone - and all three religions claim him as an ancestor. He's often cited by world statesman as a unifying figure for all the three religions, yet today many of the 'children of Abraham' are locked in conflict.
An exclusive tour behind the forbidding walls of the tiniest state on earth. From the kitchens to the workshops, from the Vatican's fire department to its very own farm, the filmmakers capture the industriousness and cheer of those who work behind the scenes to keep Vatican City running smoothly. This episode looks at Christmas preparations.
This week, Ifor sets out to understand what happens when our religious urges drive us underground. His first stop is Lud's Church in Derbyshire, one of the most dramatic and eerie holy places in the land, it was once described as "the place for the Devil to say matins".
In part two of our special on the Roman Catholic Church in Australia, Geraldine Doogue examines the experience of women in the church. Women outnumber men in the Catholic Church, but rarely are their voices heard. Forty years after the reforms of the Second Vatican Council, the church still denies women positions of authority, leadership and power. In this episode we meet four women grappling with what it means to be Catholic in the 21st century.
Five million Australians, one-quarter of the population, call themselves Catholic. At the core of their belief is the Mass, the ritual in which Christ becomes present to the faithful. Only a male unmarried priest can say Mass. The trouble is the Roman Catholic Church is running out of priests and soon won't have enough to conduct Sunday Masses. Though in some places there's been a slight increase in numbers studying for the priesthood, there are still too few to replace ageing and retiring priests. Priests are being brought in from overseas, and some former Anglican priests are filling parish vacancies. But these strategies may present more problems than solutions. Some Anglican-turned-Catholic priests are already married. So, if marriage is no impediment for them, why the prohibition on married Catholic priests? Many Catholics, including priests and some bishops, think it's time to abandon mandatory celibacy and to admit married men and women to the priesthood.
This week, Ifor sets out to understand the appeal of islands as Holy retreats. It may seem obvious that we would feel closer to the divine surrounded by the stunning natural beauty of an island but Ifor soon discovers there is a far deeper reason they became such a major aspect of religion.
As World Youth Day 2008 launches in Sydney, SBS Television will screen a new documentary series called My Generation. This six-part series puts Australian youth under the microscope to reveal what they really think and feel about the big issues; religion, politics, adulthood, housing and community engagement. In tonight's episode, convinced generation Y is losing its soul and suspicious that organised religion can't give it back to them, writer and director Ben Lucas sets out to discover the spiritual essence of our youth. Why are more young people turning away from religion and what, if any, are the consequences of this increasing trend?
Actor David Suchet continues to trace the life of the man we know today as Saint Peter. According to the New Testament, it is Peter who takes charge of the movement after the death of Jesus. But how could a man who had previously been painted as an impetuous and confused character fill the shoes of such a charismatic leader?
This visually stunning program traces the history and message of Islam by following the journeys of six young pilgrims from across the Muslim world to Mecca. It explores their lives and beliefs as well as the beautiful and historic mosques where they worship.
David Suchet sets out on a personal journey around the Mediterranean to uncover the story of another biblical hero. Saint Peter is an enigma. For many people, he is the most important disciple and the 'rock' of the Catholic church. But how did a simple Galilean fisherman become the first Pope?
In his youth Shaun Micallef almost joined the priesthood. Now he wonders if he may have missed his one shot at the answers to life's big questions. Shaun Micallef's Stairway to Heaven reveals a new side to Shaun as he heads to India and immerses himself in the Hindu world of Gods, Gurus and the Ganges.
Actor David Suchet sets out on a personal journey around the Mediterranean to uncover the story of a man he has longed to play - the biblical Saint Paul. Along the way, Suchet visits ancient and modern locations, interviews expert witnesses and deciphers new evidence from the latest archaeological research.
The Girl Who Cries Blood follows the story of a family's desperate search for a cure for their daughter's mysterious and unique illness. Twinkle, a 13-year-old-girl from the northern Indian city of Lucknow, suffers from a frightening and as yet un-diagnosed condition. For nearly two years, without any obvious explanation, she has cried tears of blood.
Actor David Suchet sets out on a personal journey around the Mediterranean to uncover the story of a man he has longed to play - the biblical Saint Paul. Paul did more than any other individual to transform the fledgling Jesus Movement from an obscure Jewish sect into a new global religion.
An insight into the Old Order Amish of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. When two radical Amish men start to question aspects of their culture, they face excommunication from their church and rejection by friends and family.
A revealing exploration of one of the world's most influential books. Each episode is presented by a prominent commentator and thinker who explores the ideas and influence of seven books of the Scriptures, tracing how they came into existence and how they have shaped the world we live in today.
For 88 years, a small town has pantomimed Christ's passion story in The Holy City, a bizarre reproduction of Jerusalem built into a cow pasture in Oklahoma. Jesus Town is a light-hearted documentary chronicling a 300-strong amateur cast, 46 horses, and Zack - a Buddhist paperboy playing Jesus.